Get Smart #5: Earth Day 2008 Edition

22 Apr

Seth: In honor of Earth Day 2008, this is a clip from a documentary I saw on PBS about The Druk White Lotus School in Ladakh, a disputed territory between India and Pakistan in the Himalayas. The school is unique for two reasons. The local economy in Ladakh is changing. Traditional agriculture is suffering as people migrate towards the town for better government jobs which have become scarce. Furthermore, because China closed the border with Tibet and Central Asia in the 1960s, the private business sector suffers tremendously from the lack of international trade. The local traditional schools are failing to prepare the youth for the modern world, so it is the vision of His Holiness the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa, the spiritual leader of the territory to give the youth a world-class education.

The school has been built as a model for sustainable development in an area with few resources. Minimizing energy use and emissions and only using traditional building techniques while still creating modern facilities has resulted in a fascinating case-study in the possibilities of going green. Check out this clip and the link to the school’s website above. More information about PBS’ series on sustainable energy innovation is available at http://www.pbs.org/e2/.

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